Metro East dentist sentenced to prison for health care fraud

A dentist who practiced in Swansea has been sentenced to prison for defrauding Illinois Medicaid out of hundreds of thousands of dollars over a period of several years.

Dr. Yun Sup Kim, 49, of St. Louis, appeared Thursday morning via videoconference at the federal courthouse in Benton and was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison. Kim pleaded guilty to three counts of health-care fraud back in February.

The case against Kim arose from a regulatory audit initiated in 2015 after claims data showed Kim had performed more cavity fillings and surgical tooth extractions than nearly any other dentist in Illinois. Investigators discovered that from August 2014 through December 2017,

Kim had repeatedly submitted false bills for cavity fillings and surgical tooth extractions. Court records list more than 1,300 patients for whom Kim falsely claimed to have performed eight or more cavity fillings in a single day. Kim conceded in court that he did not actually numb, drill, and fill cavities in those teeth. Kim further admitted billing simple extractions to Medicaid as if they had been surgical extractions, which are more expensive, and confessed that he had falsified dates of service on numerous occasions to evade Medicaid billing rules for dental sealants.

In April, as part of his plea agreement with the United States, Kim agreed to the entry of a consent decree revoking his license to practice dentistry in Illinois. Kim’s sentence also includes restitution to Illinois Medicaid and Medicaid managed care organizations in the amount of $671,845.20, which Kim has already paid in full. United States District Judge Staci M. Yandle found these factors mitigating but also emphasized the need for a period of incarceration to deter other health care practitioners from committing the same offense. Judge Yandle observed that many of Kim’s Medicaid-eligible patients were physically harmed by his failure to provide them proper dental care and that Kim had not demonstrated any remorse for his conduct.

Kim was ordered to self-surrender for his prison term on Nov. 13, 2020. A one-year term of supervised release was also imposed.

The investigation was conducted by the Illinois State Police Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan D. Stump prosecuted the case.

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